MSc in Environmental Governance with Specialization in Biodiversity (UNU-IAS)

    Applications closed

    This programme is implemented by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). Below you will find general information about the programme. For comprehensive details, including the full admissions requirements and application materials, please visit the UNU-IAS website.

    Protecting and preserving biodiversity is one of the most important global environmental challenges that we face today. With growing international interest in environmental governance and the role of biodiversity in regional and national development, there is increasing demand for biodiversity experts with empirically and conceptually grounded training. The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) draws on its long-standing reputation for excellence in policy-oriented research for sustainable development to offer a unique programme in environmental governance: the Master of Science in Environmental Governance with Specialization in Biodiversity. This programme will provide students with the intellectual foundation and practical field experience necessary for understanding environmental governance regimes.

    To equip students with the skills to initiate innovative biodiversity policies and provide them with first-hand experience at putting research into practice, students will have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in Japan, in addition to two weeks of overseas fieldwork in their first year.

    Graduates of this programme will have acquired the skills necessary to forge new frontiers as researchers and practitioners with an interdisciplinary and systemic understanding of biodiversity, ecosystems and sustainable development. The programme starts in the beginning of September and full-time students will be able to graduate in 18 to 24 months. Part-time students are required to finish the programme in 36 months or less.


  • The following is an overview of the admissions requirements for the MSc in Environmental Governance. Please visit the UNU-IAS website for a full list of admissions requirements, including English language requirements and cost.

    Applicants are expected to have an outstanding academic record and strong interest or experience in environmental policy, management of biodiversity issues or policy-related research in sustainable development. Applicants must generally hold a bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences, social sciences, environmental studies, engineering, law, public policy or public administration.

    The programme consists of both coursework and the writing of a master’s thesis. All courses in this programme are taught in English. Applicants whose first language is not English must provide the official results of specified English examinations as evidence of their language proficiency. Please click here for more information about English language requirements.

    Tuition is 10,000 USD per year. There are a limited number of scholarships available for low-income students from developing countries; however, scholarships are highly competitive and students are strongly recommended to seek additional funding resources.

    Please click here for more information about application requirements and forms.

  • A total of five core courses are provided to prepare students to undertake fieldwork and provide guidance for the thesis writing process. Elective and optional courses are made available as an opportunity for students to examine biodiversity from the global scale of international environmental law to community-based governance. Please click here for a comprehensive list of all compulsory core courses and electives. In order to attain a better grasp of the United Nations system, students are also encouraged to participate in UNU Intensive Core Courses, which are offered by the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) in Tokyo.

    The following is a list of compulsory core courses. Please visit the UNU-IAS website for a full list of all core and elective courses.

    Upon graduation, students are awarded an MSc degree in Environmental Governance. 

  • United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)
    6F International Organizations Center
    1-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku
    Yokohama 220-8502

    T: +81-45-221-2300
    F: +81-45-221-2302